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Belgium in Brief: Is Tourism Back?

The news that the UK will soon start allowing fully vaccinated travellers to visit with minimal fuss is a considerable step in return to normal for many people in Belgium, be they transplanted Scottish newsletter writers or just people who want a trip.

Throughout the pandemic, mainland Europe didn’t seem quite so far off (at least to me). As things began to ease, people started to cross borders to see family and friends… hell, they even mostly followed the rules.

But for many, the UK started to feel like an island in a way it hadn’t before.

The fact that we can soon hop on a plane or the Eurostar and be in the post-Brexit UK might be an odd gatekeeper for tourism, but it’s undoubtedly quite a step.

Sure, my perspective might be a little off. I’m from there, after all, but I’m really looking forward to getting on a plane, just not the multiple checks that come with it.

So what about you? Did this news raise your spirits? Fill you with dread? Or not even register?

It’s moronic, but I really want a pint of Irn-Bru.

Let @johnstonjules know.

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1. These are the Covid symptoms for those already vaccinated

As a small number of people are still getting infected with the coronavirus even after being vaccinated, the symptoms they report differ from those for non-vaccinated people. Read more.

2. As life restarts, humanity’s ecological footprint hits pre-Covid levels

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Following last year’s historic drop in humanity’s ecological footprint as a result of the people being confined to combat the coronavirus pandemic, it has once again soared to pre-Covid levels. Read more.

3. What are the rules for travelling to Belgium from the UK?

With the news that England will be allowing fully vaccinated travellers to enter from the EU and the US as of Monday 2 August, here’s a quick recap of the rules for those of us looking to return to Belgium now a trip to the (some of the) UK is on the cards. Read more.

4. Coronavirus mortality rate in French-speaking hospitals 10% higher than in Flanders

Clear regional differences have been found in the mortality rates of coronavirus patients who were hospitalised or in intensive care units in Belgium, as this figure is higher in the French-speaking areas than in Flanders. Read More.

5. Dutch anti-vaxxer sues Marc Van Ranst for slander and defamation

Prominent Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst has been sued for slander and defamation by the well-known Dutch anti-vaxxer Willem Engel, who has been highly critical of the coronavirus policy in the Netherlands and Belgium. Read More.

6. Body of one of last two people missing following floods in Belgium has been found

The body of one of the last two people missing as a result of the floods in Belgium on 14 and 15 July has been found, leaving just one woman missing. Read more.

7. Belgium to directly reimburse psychologist visits

From 1 September, a visit to a psychologist or remedial educationalist will be directly reimbursed by health insurance, as part of the country’s ‘mental health master plan.’ Read more.